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Dead woman wins local election in India

Jailed Indian opposition politician to run capital from cell
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A woman won a local election in India almost two weeks after her death as supporters kept their pledge to back her in a sign of respect, officials said.

Ashiya Bi polled at nearly 44 percent in the race for a municipal civic body seat in India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh this month, and was declared victorious posthumously.

The popular 30-year-old first-time candidate fell ill, reportedly from an acute lung and abdominal infection, and died just 12 days before the poll.

Her husband informed election officials, but district officer Bhagwan Sharan told AFP on Tuesday that there was no procedure in place to remove her name from the ballot.

“Once the electoral process begins, it cannot be halted or paused,” Sharan said.

Before she passed away, Bi proved a major hit with voters, and many decided to cast their ballots for her anyway in a sign of respect and admiration.

“Ashiya made friends easily and people didn’t want to break the promise of support they gave her and hence the result,” local resident Mohammad Zakir told the Times of India daily.

Her husband Muntazim Qureishi said Bi had “won hearts with her calm demeanour”.

“Our votes are a tribute to her,” the paper quoted another voter, Arif, as saying.

Personal, familial and community loyalties often play a decisive role in India’s at-times colourful and chaotic elections.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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